The Get Ready EP
Featuring a smooth, groovy production under Debra's rich, soaring vocals, and lyrical maturity, with songs that dig deeper into the human condition.
The Get Ready EP Produced by Debra Arlyn & Rob Stroup Recorded & Mixed by Rob Stroup at 8Ball Studio in Portland, OR Mastered by Steve Sundholm All songs written by Debra Arlyn Copywright 2009
All vocals - Debra Arlyn Piano & Whirly - Debra Arlyn Drums - Jeff Anthony Bass - Jay Haser Guitar - Bob Dunham & Rob Stroup (Track 3) Sax - Dave Milne Trumpet - Farnell Newton Rhodes, Organ & Whirly - JP Garrau
DEBRA ARLYN, Portland Music Awards “Best Female Artist of the Year”, continues to gain industry success as 'Portland's finest young pop singers..." says the Willamette Week. For the past 3 years, Debra has captivated audiences at colleges, major music festivals, and popular music venues. Performance highlights include mainstage shows at the Portland Waterfront BluesFest, both The Bite of Seattle and Bite of Oregon Festivals, and opening for Tower of Power, Chris Isaak, Curtis Salgado & Epic artist Lenka.
Debra's songwriting talent has won her top prizes in the John-Lennon Songwriting Contest, Billboard’s World Songwriting Contest, The Great American Song Contest, Unisong International Song Contest, The Singer/Songwriter Awards, Winery Music Awards and being listed on the annual ‘Top Hot Unsigned Artists’ from LA’s Music Connection Magazine . Her music was in the film ‘ClearCut’, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on the Sundance Channel, and on TV shows including the CW TV show ‘Related’and 'Keeping up with Kardashians ' on the E! Network.
With a strong presence on the West Coast via college radio, Oregon Hot Ac radio, national magazine reviews and thousands of fans though Facebook, iLike & Myspace - Debra’s music is far out-reaching her homegrown grasp. Though only 23, Debra has come a long way since winning Clear-channels ‘Oregon Idol’ contest and competing for the ‘American Idol’ TV show. It is clear Debra has something significant to offer the music world as a musician, songwriter, and performer.
Can you say "Blue-eyed soul"? Here's a young lady who's already been favorably compared with Alicia Keys, so let this review of her 2008 release serve as a confirmation of that complimentary connection. Coming from the great Northwest, Debra writes, sings, and produces her own songs, and plays her own piano, too. Arrangements often feature tasteful horns and mellow back-up vocals and harmonies. Debra's voice is clear and powerful, and she's capable of performing the same kind of vocal acrobatics so often engaged in by today's crop of singers -- but thankfully, she mainly projects for effect, without swooping out the vain, frivolous up-and-down warbling indulged in by others. These songs are all piano-based, with capable, often-jazzy instrumental support. It's funny to hear a young talent like Debra singing about what she's learning as she's getting older, as in a song such as "Does It Really Matter," which is filled with some pleasing horn accentuation. But no matter what she's seen and felt so far, as expressed in well-crafted tunes like "Forever" and "The Letter," dang it, she's really still just a youngster, and what a talented one, already with a good ear for the nuances of relationships. The disk's opening track is "Worth the Wait," and as Debra Arlyn continues to mature as an artist, her future efforts should likewise be worth waiting for.
By Rob Swick - ALL-ACCESS Magazine
You know you're going places when the likes of Curtis Salgado, Tower of Power and Chris Isaak ask you to open for them on tour. Of course it doesn't hurt if you've gotten people's attention by winning an Oregon Idol competition and having a set of pipes that would make many female vocalists green with envy. There is no mistaking the talent that singer-songwriter-musician Debra Arlyn possesses, and for those who appreciate singers with passion and verve, she is a triple threat you should not miss.
On her third and most recent album, Tomorrow Another Day, Arlyn's performances call to mind the fervor of Christina Aguilera's thunderous vocals and the soulful beauty of Alicia Keys' piano playing, particularly on "Worth the Wait" and "Forever," a track which Arlyn penned 10 years ago, when she was only 14. Mixing elements of jazz, funk, R&B and even Motown, as on the mid-tempo number "Tell Me Now," Arlyn's recordings are at once familiar and fresh.
Vocally she has become a real stunner, and her songwriting prowess has increased with each subsequent release, so when she talks about love and relationships -- as she does in many of her songs -- the words are heartfelt and her connections to the tracks are palpable. Romantic and dreamy one moment, funky and upbeat the next, the tracks come together to make for a pleasurable ride with twists and turns you will love taking.
By Brian Palmer - THE EUGENE WEEKLY
"I reviewed Debra Arlyn's previous CD, Complicated Mess back in 2006. In fact, it made my 'Best Of' list that year. I was surprised that it was an indie release because it seemed very polished, very produced. I generally like things a little edgier, but I was smitten with Arlyn's voice. So it ultimately won me over. Her voice is still wonderful for that radio friendly AAA crowd. Again, not edgy, but technically very good. The songs are a good match for the vocals. They are melodic, catchy and comfortable. She's got a bit of that soulful, urban pop vibe, sort of like Toby Lightman. Her voice actually reminds me of another artist I've been listening to, Sara Barielles. The opener Worth the Wait makes use of horns and a good infectious rhythm and is a good way to start the record. She is also quite a skilled piano player which shows more in some songs than in others. This would be a fun record to learn and sing along with in the car with the windows rolled down this summer."
By Amy Lotsberg - COLLECTED SOUL "Guide to Women in music"
"The stage is where the girl becomes a woman. Suddenly seeming comfortable in her own skin, in her sexuality, in her place at the focal point of everyone in the room. It's the stage that belongs to her, and not the other way around. And unlike her Britney-esque established competition, she writes her own music and lyrics, and plays piano as well. It's her musicality and talent that will propel her to stardom in the not-so-distant future. Arlyn is diverse in her vocal range, as well as the styles of music she floats seemlessly between. While her pure pop tunes are what will make her famous, it's her jazzy and R&B tunes that will make her stand out from the crowd."
- MUSIC SPECTATOR Magazine
Debra Arlyn is one of Portland’s finest young pop singers—jeez, I didn’t mean that as a double entendre but, there it is—and she has the hustle to go with the voice. A former American Idol hopeful, Arlyn’s tunes are largely in the “You broke my heart/ I’m not over it yet” lyrical canon, but her rich, R&B-inspired delivery hints at depth to come. There’s an independent streak in this one that bodes well for the music’s future, and—if she keeps working for exposure—makes her a better potential role model for the kids than the current crop of scary pop divas.
By Casey Jarman - THE WILLAMETTE WEEK
"With singer-songwriter Debra Arlyn, it's easy to get lost in the slick production, the immediately apparent radio-tailored vibe and the laserlike marketing focus her "package" targets. But that would be to miss the point. Arlyn, a twentysomething Corvallis native, is releasing her third effort, "Tomorrow Another Day," on her homegrown Homeslice Music Records label. And we'll be surprised if she doesn't hit pay dirt within the next year. The 12 songs on her sophomore effort are a mash-up of lite jazz, R&B and old-school soul. She composes and performs on piano, but it's her strong, confident voice and way with a melody that sets her apart. The CD was crisply produced by Rob Stroup at his 8 Ball Studio. He's quickly becoming Portland's hottest record producer. He took her AAA vision and rendered a tight pop record that will not fail to gain major label notice. Arlyn has done her homework. Rather than slug it out in any sort of club scene, she's set her sights on writing songs that resonate with fellow twentysomethings, so much so that she's already landed several cuts on pop television and indie film. She's also racked up several major songwriting-contest wins, music awards and national-magazine exposure. And justly. Her songs are well-crafted, the production of each impeccable. If they sound formulaic, it's because she knows her business. There's nothing terribly deep here lyrically, the usual aching-heart laments, but she's good enough that either she will find a mass audience in the modern R&B realm, or her songs will get covered by major stars. Or, likely, both.
Don Campbell - THE OREGONIAN
Debra Arlyn is already a star to those who know who she is. And we’re not talking about the supportive but misguided relatives who are devastated when their starry-eyed youngsters don’t make the cut on “American Idol.” We’re talking about the people Arlyn has won over in small batches since 2006, when she took to the road in earnest as a full-time independent artist. The Corvallis-based singer recently was named best female artist of the year at the inaugural Portland Music Awards, sponsored in January by Music Spectator magazine. Arlyn was up against such popular veterans as Linda Hornbuckle and Ashleigh Flynn. Arlyn, with her larger-than-you’d-expect voice, stole away with that prize. And judging by bloggers’ reports on the event, she blew away the crowd with her live performance. Arlyn is back in Eugene on Saturday, playing at 5 p.m. on the main stage of the Willamette Valley Music Festival. Her Portland CD-release party is May 23, so local audiences have a chance to get their hands on “Tomorrow Another Day” first during this appearance with her full band, which includes trumpet and saxophone. Two years ago, about the time she released “Complicated Mess,” Arlyn’s focus was on securing a major label record deal. She has changed her strategy and wants fans to understand that. Arlyn said during a recent interview that the most common questions she hears after college shows are, “Why aren’t you famous?” and, “Why are you playing my school?”
“It’s really sweet when people say that to me, (but) I wish people would change their perception,” she said. “There’s not overnight success anymore.” She wants to tell them, “It takes a lot of work to get to your school,” but she knows they mean well. Building her audience the slow and steady way has allowed Arlyn to mature as an artist. And it will leave her better equipped for fame if it does come her way. Although Arlyn was the Clear Channel “Oregon Idol” winner back in 2003, she is no longer interested in exchanging control of her music for stardom. After “Complicated Mess,” which she produced herself, she showcased for a couple of major labels, but no offers surfaced. Hearing horror stories from fellow artists who had been signed to majors, she changed her approach. Now, she spends up to 12 hours a day working on her career, including numerous one-week tours in which she visits several colleges in one trip.
“I take a lot of pride in my show, and I generally get a good response,” Arlyn said.
Newly wed in April, the 23-year-old Arlyn appears happy and well-adjusted. And while she realizes dark and angsty songs are the cool thing to put out right now, it’s not her style. That style is something Arlyn has a hard time defining. She just knows that her latest release comes closer to nailing down a signature sound — soul, jazz and pop filtered through that gifted voice. On her second full-length independent release, Arlyn has matured as a songwriter. She also worked her musical connections to bring in producer Rob Stroup and several co-writers. The new CD boasts a powerful duet, “Not Enough,” with Intervision vocalist Paul Creighton. For Arlyn, one of her favorite songs was the one that came the easiest. She wrote “Worth the Wait” during a one-hour meeting in Los Angeles with producer and musician Dapo Torimiro. The song is about a love that came about “not a moment too late” after dealing with “shady” exes and other disappointments. It’s a jazzy R&B number with a traditional pop structure. Arlyn said the song isn’t about anyone in particular, and that’s another strength of her new project. “I’m more focused on the craft of the song than having it be about anyone,” she said. “Before, it would be about someone or about an emotion.” Arlyn also got creative with production treatments. Listen to the fast-paced “Thru to Me,” which glides into a slow reggae beat about two-thirds of the way into the song before picking up again. The transition works because Arlyn doesn’t change her vocal style to sing over the reggae rhythm. That makes the change of pace a welcome accessory rather than an affected distraction. “I’m open to all kinds of music,” said Arlyn, who wanted to work with a producer because she had tapped out most of her creative ideas on “Complicated Mess.” “I think you have to expand and keep it interesting for yourself and others.You can’t keep doing the same thing forever.” Speaking of “Forever,” a track by that name is her absolute favorite. She said she wrote it when she was 14. It’s a perky and upbeat tune with folk-rock instrumentation. She said she loves to perform it live. “I haven’t had a lot of struggle — no major depression,” she said. “I’ve always been positive. I’m a real content person. “Let’s write love songs and be happy!”
- Serena Markstrom - THE REGISTER GUARD
"Having listened to Tomorrow Another Day at least 15 times since receiving it in the mail, I must say this studio release is Arlyn's finest achievement in not only production value but also songwriting. The usual Pop/R&B elements to Arlyn's arsenal of music are present and she even adds in some soft rock and disco elements on certain tracks. The track Through To Me has a little musical number in the latter part of the song that, for about ten seconds, makes me think I'm listening to the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever. No, John Travolta does NOT make an appearance on this track or the record, for the record. Some heavy hitters in the music world collaborated with Arlyn with a couple of the tracks from Tomorrow Another Day such as Mariah Carey's first producer, Ben Margulies on Does It Really Matter, hip hop/jazz producer and artist Dapo Tormiro on Worth the Wait and former Portland Prince of Producing, Steve Sundholm on New Favorite Song. Debra Arlyn is quickly becoming a known and sought after commodity in the music world. Her seemingly tireless effort in making music connects with those who cross her path by offering a 'happiness and heartache' reality check within loving and hurting those we love. Arlyn's pain and passion through song is evident, and will challenge you to reflect, react and respond within the happiness and heart ache in your own life. All I can say is that John Travolta's music never did that for me, and I'm truly grateful for that!"
Jason Gearhart - NW Noise Website
"Arlyn has the pipes and point-of-view of a mature songwriter. This young artist is working at a high level and is ripe for major label interest."
- LA's Music Connection Magazine
The year 2008 started out with a bang for local singer/songwriter Debra Arlyn when she won Best Female Artist of the Year at the First Annual Portland Music Awards in January. Arlyn, who was up against female performers including Jasmine Ash and Linda Hornbuckle, said she was shocked to win the award, which the public voted on through Music Spectator Magazine. For Arlyn, the award was just the icing on a brand new year, which has brought with it a new album which came out Tuesday, “Tomorrow Another Day,” and a new Web site, www.debraarlyn.com. With her music appearing in two independent films, and the song “Why Can’t We Start Over?” featured on the television show “Related,” it appears that Arlyn is on the brink of major celebrity. But then a...